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Curriculum Overview

Motcombe Primary School offers a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, social and physical development of pupils at the school and of society and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.  

Motcombe Topic Based Curriculum

For all non-core curriculum subjects we have a progression of knowledge and skills to be covered in each year group and 'Knowledge Organisers' for each term - see below:




At Motcombe Primary School, we believe that parents are a child’s first educators and we recognise how important parent influence is throughout a child’s time in the Early Years. We aim to work closely with parents and carers, to ensure that every child has the best possible start in school and in life!


Our Reception class follow an Early Years curriculum that meets the requirements of the Early Learning Goals. The curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning: Personal Social Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. This curriculum is the foundation of the later National Curriculum subjects taught in years one and two.


Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This enables children to develop self worth and respect for others, forming positive relationships with their peers and adults. Children learn to socialise, manage and identify their feelings, differentiate between choices in behaviour, understand appropriate behaviour and gain confidence in their approach.

Communication and Language
Children are given opportunities which enable them to develop skills in expressing themselves confidently, listen to others and speak in a range of situations. A range of activities are initiated which support vocabulary extension.

Physical Development
This involves developing a range of fine and gross motor skills, co-ordination, control and movement, through the provision of opportunities for children to be active and interactive. The children are supported to understand the importance of keeping healthy by being physically active and choosing foods which promote health.


Specific Areas
The following four areas of learning are known as ‘Specific Areas’:


Literacy Development
Children are developed and encouraged to begin to link sounds and letters and take the first steps in learning how to read and write. A range of reading opportunities are given through a variety of books and the children are introduced to fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Children begin to learn how to spell and write. They are given adult directed and free writing opportunities. All their efforts are valued as they are supported to develop writing skills.

Mathematical Development
The children are provided with activities and opportunities which enable them to begin to: count; recognise, understand and use numbers; make simple calculations; identify and describe shapes; have an understanding of space and begin to compare and contrast measurements of length, weight and capacity.

Understanding the world 
This involves guiding our children to make sense of the physical world, the local community, people, places, technology and the environment through exploration, observation, discussion and investigation.

Expressive arts and design
Children are given opportunities to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. They are encouraged to be creative and develop their own ideas through art, music, drama, movement, role play, design and technology.


Characteristics of Effective Learning

As well as Early Learning Goals we also observe the 'Characteristics of Effective Learning'.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning describe learning as a process and not as an event.


The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and have a go
  • Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
  • Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


At Motcombe, we foster a culture of positivity towards mathematics. Our approach allows pupils to learn in practical and visual ways, in order to access concepts in the abstract sense. We ensure that pupils are fluent with their skills, can reason mathematically and apply their skills to a range of problems in a range of contexts.



We aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.  Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.


By the time the children leave our school we aim for every child to be able to:


  • Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.
  • Have an interest in books and read for enjoyment.
  • Have an interest in words, their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
  • Understand a range of text types and genres – be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.
  • Be developing the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness. 
  • Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.


At Motcombe we are currently working with our local English Hub School (Cornerstone Academy Trust).   The English Hub schools take a leading role in supporting schools to improve the teaching of early language, reading for pleasure and phonics.


All staff at Motcombe have recently received training in 'Sound Discovery' - a high quality synthetic phonics literacy programme for the teaching of reading, spelling and writing.   


We received training from Dr Marlynne Grant.  Dr Grant is a chartered educational psychologist and a member of the Reading Reform Foundation. She is also the author of the high quality phonics programme - Sound Discovery.

English Handwriting Policy



Science is an integral part of all of our lives, with links to many other subjects, including maths and computing. At Motcombe children are encouraged to investigate, solve problems and ask questions about a wide range of aspects of the world around them and to explore aspects of biology, chemistry and physics in the most practical and engaging ways possible.


Educational visits regularly have a science theme as their basis. Children are lucky that the school is situated near to a range of different environments which they can explore. In addition children have had the opportunity to experience pond dipping. The extensive school grounds offer the chance for investigations to be carried out, including the growing of plants.

Religious Education


Please see below the R.E. curriculum overview. Motcombe CEVA Primary follows a mixture of Understanding Christianity and Discovery R.E. as well as celebrating Church holidays like Christmas and Easter. 

Physical Education

The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • engage in competitive sports and activities
  • lead healthy, active lives.

At Motcombe Primary School, we believe that physical education is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil’s physical development and well-being.  Our physical education curriculum is intended to provide for pupils’ increasing self-confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement situations.  We endeavour to provide stimulating, enjoyable and appropriately challenging learning experiences for all of our pupils and it is intended that our children, irrespective of their ability, will enjoy success and be motivated to further develop their individual potential.

Through lesson time and extra-curricular activities, we support pupils in developing skilful use of the body, the ability to remember, repeat and refine actions and to perform them with increasing control, co-ordination, fluency and safety. We also support pupils in developing an increasing ability to select, link and apply skills, tactics and compositional ideas.

 Learning opportunities outside the classroom are also actively encouraged through other subject areas, to maximise the use of our wonderful school grounds.

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